[u-u] Cheap/free VOIP home phone

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh at mimosa.com
Sun May 24 15:24:33 EDT 2020

| From: Dan Astoorian <djast at ecf.utoronto.ca>

- last I looked, SIP was normally unencrypted.  Not to mention the
  metadata thing.  I've been told things are better (SRTP? TLS?) but
  your handset probably doesn't do that.  (Maybe D'Arcy told me -- I
  don't remember.)

- the dream of VoIP was that it could be end-to-end but it seems to
  normally deployed as customer to ITSP where it then gets onto the
  PSTN.  Long distance is handled differently by the ITSP,
  transparently to the customer.

- Rogers was almost giving away their Home Phone thing.  That may have
  changed.  Technically, it is VoIP, but it doesn't go over the
  internet.  They do a lot of things to make it just like POTS:

  + UPS in your home to ensure that the phone works during power
    outages (of a day or less?)

  + uses a reserved band on the cable for its IP traffic so it does
    not compete with streaming video or gamers

  + perhaps: stupid high long distance fees like Bell

What is it you want a VoIP line for?  I have one but don't actually
use it any longer.  Perhaps you would be better off with replacements
like Skype, Zoom, Google ___?

| Today I tried to use my netTALK phone for the first time since switching
| to the new Rogers cable modem, and had two calls half-terminate after
| (almost exactly) 15 minutes--the other party could hear me, but suddenly
| I couldn't hear them.  (If that symptom rings a bell for any of the SIP
| experts on the list, I'll happily listen to any troubleshooting advice.)

On my les.net VoIP account, I (as an administrator) get to set a
timeout time.  I think that it defaulted to an hour.  To make a phone
call, you must have enough money in your account to pay for a call
that hits the timeout time.

| I then discovered that they freephoneline.ca charges a one-time fee of
| $99.95 +taxes to "unlock" VOIP and get SIP settings.

That's crazy.  It isn't based on any cost that they have.

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